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Product Decisions and Financial Goals at Odds: Study

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Many consumers say they want an income stream that will last throughout their retirement years, but they’re not inclined to buy annuities–the one product that could fulfill this all-important objective.

That’s the chief finding of a new retirement income study conducted jointly by LIMRA International, Windsor, Conn., and Northstar Research Partners, New York.

At least three-quarters of consumers said that creating an income stream from their savings was important, LIMRA found Yet only about 20% planned to use annuities for retirement income.

Consumers based their preference for specific products on their stated priorities, but preconceived attitudes about certain retirement income products or features altered consumers’ choices, undermining their goals, LIMRA reports.

When asked, 30% of consumers had a negative attitude towards annuities. Yet the most important criterion for their financial goals was having income payments last throughout their lifetime, which annuities are designed to provide.

CDs, stocks, money markets and mutual funds topped the list of products currently owned by those surveyed.

When asked to rate their financial priorities, early retirees said they were most interested in staying in their home, whereas pre-retirees were more interested in creating and increasing their retirement nest egg.

Both retirees and pre-retirees expressed a desire to create an income from their investments and savings; to maintain their current lifestyle; and to be able to pay for health care expenses throughout retirement.

Almost 60% surveyed considered their investment knowledge level to be subpar, and more than 70% consulted with an investment professional to help them make financial decisions.

Despite this, only 28% of consumers surveyed said they have a formal written financial plan. And 80% are not highly optimistic about their financial future.


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